Beekeepers manage honey bees housed in hives as a hobby or commercially. Keeping bees healthy, beekeepers harvest bee products such as honey and beeswax, among other things, for their use or for sale. Seasonal needs and the objectives and scope of a beekeeping operation determine specific beekeeping tasks.
Over time, honey crystallizes or granulates, transforming from a thick, viscous liquid into a solid, gritty mass. Crystallization is a natural process that does not alter the elemental composition of the honey.
Beehive frames and foundation create a space where bees build wax comb to store food and raise brood. Rectangular frames hold a wax or plastic sheet of foundation embossed with hexagonal cells serving as a base for drawing straight comb.
Creamed honey is honey crystallized by a process that assures a lot of tiny sugar crystals. Small crystals give creamed honey a smoother, creamier consistency than naturally occurring large crystals. This spreadable form of crystallized honey may or may not be raw honey, depending on its processing.
Although several insects make honey, it is mainly associated with the western honey bee, the most common species of honey bee used for honey production worldwide. So, what is honey?
Fall hive management focuses on preparing for winter. Winter losses are common and expensive. Follow this guide to help your bees survive until next spring.
Managing beehives in summer is mostly about assisting the bees in storing honey (for the bees and you) and dealing with some of the season’s extreme weather.
Spring beehive management is important for beekeepers and bees alike. Clean up from winter and get surviving colonies set up to thrive. Feed, if necessary, watch out for potential swarming, install new bees and give your bees additional space as needed.
A queenless hive needs prompt attention to avoid the loss of an entire colony. This article describes how to assess if the hive is queenright and what to do if it is not.
Managing beehives is a year-round task; however, the level of work and time required will vary widely with seasonal changes. Learn what you can do to help your bees not just survive, but thrive.